Montana Public Radio

NASA

With Jane Clayson

3,2,1 … liftoff. We celebrate the moon mission at 50 and look at the future of space exploration.

This story is part of the StoryCorps series of conversations.

A half-century ago, America's dreams were realized in space. The power of U.S. innovation and spirit took the Apollo 11 crew to the moon and back.

That mission was possible because of a diverse team of engineers, astronauts and mathematicians. It was also possible thanks to the help of one 10-year-old boy who was in the right place at the right time.

Huckleberries in Glacier Park.
Glacier National Park (PD)


A new study mapping huckleberries in Glacier National Park could help grizzlies thrive in the area, and figure out how the tasty fruits respond to a changing climate.

NASA Video Shows How Far Wildfire Smoke Travels

Nov 20, 2017
This visualization uses data from NASA satellites, combined with mathematical models in a computer simulation allow scientists to study the physical processes in our atmosphere.
NASA Goddard

How can you see the atmosphere? By tracking what is carried on the wind. Tiny aerosol particles such as smoke, dust, and sea salt are transported across the globe, making visible weather patterns and other normally invisible physical processes. Check out how far the wildfire smoke from the western U.S. travels.

Dozens of fires burning in the Rocky Mountains in Montana were detected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite on the afternoon of August 19, 2003. In the image, fire locations have been marked in yellow. The fi
Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Last week a senior advisor to President-elect Trump said funding for NASA Earth sciences work should be cut dramatically, or just ended. Former Pennsylvania Congressman Robert Walker made those comments in the Guardian newspaper.

For perspective on what that would mean, Amy Martin talked to the chairman of the Earth Science Subcommittee for NASA’s Advisory Council. The chairman is Steve Running, who is a regent’s professor of ecology at the University of Montana. She asked Running if big cuts to NASA Earth sciences have been proposed in the past.

On August 28, 2016, after 365 days, the longest mission in project history, six crew members exited from their Mars simulation habitat on slopes of Mauna Loa on the Big Island. The crew lived in isolation in a geodesic dome set in a Mars-like environment
Courtesy The University of Hawaii

For the past year, two Montana natives lived on Mars — or, as least at close as we can get. Carmel Johnston and Tristan Bassingthwaighte were part of a simulated Mars-mission, funded by NASA and run by the University of Hawaii. From a Hard Rock Cafe on Oahu, they told MTPR's Nicky Ouellet about their past year living and working in an isolated space dome.

NASA Taps Montana High Schoolers For Space Station Solutions

Sep 11, 2015
Florence Gold NASA HUNCH Implementation Project Manager shows Laurel High School students a Russian- made box that flew to the International Space Station (ISS) on Space X-6. Gold told says students in the HUNCH program have fabricated soft-sided boxes.
Jackie Yamanaka - Yellowstone Public Radio

Astronauts are looking for help in solving some of the challenges of living and working on the International Space Station, and they're turning to Montana high school students to help find solutions.

Tribal - NASA Project To Teach About Climate Change

Jul 23, 2014

The Salish Kootenai College is one of four tribal colleges or universities, nationwide, to receive a grant from NASA to develop climate change curriculum. The grants come from NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project, and range from $413,000 to $1,009,000.